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Realtor Report

REALTOR Report 6/24/2010

Glen Baity, 6/24/2010


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THE REALTOR® REPORT JUNE 23, 2010
TOP STORY

ONE WEEK LEFT TO CLAIM YOUR $50 DISCOUNT

This is the final week to claim your $50 discount! If you haven’t paid your bill online yet, don’t delay – the $50 discount expires after June 30!

You can now view your bill through the members area of www.grra.org.  Below, you will find detailed instructions on how to login, pay your bill, print a receipt, and receive a $50 discount when you pay on time and online! You can also find a PDF version linked to this email that you may download and print if you wish.

Click here to go straight to the login page

You can still pay by phone, check, or in person, but this is a quicker option for those of you who prefer to pay online. You will continue to receive a paper bill through the mail.

PLEASE NOTE: The GRRA recognizes that our members may be experiencing trying times as a result of the current economic environment.  With that, your GRRA Board of Directors elected...

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LEAD-BASED PAINT

EPA DELAYS ENFORCEMENT UNTIL OCTOBER

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Big news in the world of lead-based paint: The Environmental Protection Agency this week announced it would delay enforcement of its new lead-based paint rules for contractors
.

No action will be taken until October 1 against contractors who haven't yet fulfilled their training.


Read more about it at the GRRA Blog
 LINKS


Association News

Residential  News

Commercial  News

Upcoming  Events

Member  News

Wellness Update

Technology News

TREBIC Update


ONLINE BILLING

STILL TIME TO TAKE THIS WEEK'S GRRA SURVEY

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Have you already completed your online bill payment? Tell us about it! The GRRA Survey is back this week, and we want to know what you think --
click here to give us your thoughts about the your online billing experience.

As always, the survey takes less than a minute and your responses are confidential. And don't forget, all of our past surveys are archived on the GRRA Survey Results Page so you can compare your answers with your fellow REALTORS.
ADVANCE TICKETS ON SALE

HOPPERS NIGHT AT THE BALLPARK

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REALTOR Night at the Ballpark is coming soon! Get a free "GRRA Swings for the Fences" T-shirt with every $7 advance ticket purchased for the 7:00 PM August 10, 2010 game between the Greensboro Grasshoppers and the Hickory Crawdads. 

Hurry -- quantities are limited, and shirts are issued on a first come, first-served basis. Buy your ticket at the GRRA front desk, and plan to wear the t-shirt to the game. Help promote the REALTOR brand, GRRA, your community, and the Greensboro Grasshoppers.



Association News

PITCH IN TO HELP REALTOR VICTIMS OF NASHVILLE FLOODING

Your Association is trying to reach out to our colleagues in Nashville who were affected by the recent floods. We have been contacted by the Williamson County Association of REALTORS®, which is trying to coordinate relief efforts for REALTORS® whose homes have been damaged by the floods.

The GRRA hopes to send a group of volunteers in the next few weeks to do clean-up and repair work, but we need to know how many people we can send. Ideally, we’d like to send people over a weekend. The association will take care of all related expenses.

If you’re interested in helping out, e-mail Glen Baity (gbaity@grra.org), or call him at 854-5868. When you write, be sure to include the following:

1)  Your weekend availability in June and July

2)  Any unique expertise you have (hanging drywall, etc.)

Once we get an indication of how many volunteers we may have, we can start firming up details. This trip could make a huge difference in the lives of your REALTOR® colleagues in Tennessee, so we hope you’ll consider donating your time and sweat to this worthy cause.


GET A KID READY FOR SCHOOL IS NOW ACCEPTING DONATIONS

Through mid-August, RCSC committee members will be collecting donations for the annual Get a Kid Ready for School fundraiser.  As it does every year, this drive will help local students who can't afford school supplies have all the items they need on the first day of school.

Please remember RCSC is trying to get all of their donations in place as early as possible since there are no regular luncheons between now and August (there is no luncheon in July). You should start to see the familiar pencil boxes popping up in major offices. You can also find one at the GRRA's front desk.

Thank you for helping local students achieve to their fullest potential. If you have any questions please contact Megan Tasman at mmoore@grra.org.

NEWS FROM THE CITY OF GREENSBORO

ACCESS WATER BILL INFO ONLINE

The City of Greensboro is making it easier for customers to access information about their water bill with a new online service called WebConnect. WebConnect, which can be accessed at www.greensboro-nc.gov/onlineservices, is a secure way for customers to pay their water bill, make changes to their billing information, and review bill details such as water usage online. Customers can also use the service to sign-up for e-billing to receive water bills via e-mail.

When customers log on to WebConnect, they will be able to choose what level of access they want─ premium, standard or landlord. Premium access requires customers to create an online account with a user name and password, and provides all billing information. Standard access doesn’t require customers to create an account and only provides bill balance and payment options. And, landlord access, which also doesn’t require customers to create an account, allows landlords to view bill balances on all their properties and make payments.  It’s free to use all options, but a convenience fee of $1.95 will be charged when making online payments.

For more information about this new service, call 336-373-CITY (2489).

CITY CRIME DECLINES IN 1ST QUARTER

Crime rates for January to March of 2010 have declined compared to the same months last year, according to the Greensboro Police Department (GPD). Violent crime is down by 24 percent, property crime by 2 percent and homicides have dropped by 80 percent.

"We monitor crime trends regularly and have seen a steady reduction over the last year. Now, the challenge we face is driving those numbers even lower and stabilizing them at a lower level. That's a task we have to to have community involve in," said Police Chief Tim Bellamy.

Bellamy also links the decline in crime to the decline in the number of weapons seized as evidence. That number also decreased by 40 percent for the quarter compared to last year. 

According to Assistant City Manager Michael Speedling, the crime data suggests police and residents are working together effectively. “A lot of factors affect crime and some of those are harder to impact than others. One thing I’m sure of is that we wouldn’t have such significant drops if we weren’t all working toward the same goal of creating a safer City.”

The Chief also cautions against interpreting downward trends as license to be less vigilant. “Crime trends generally follow a cyclical pattern and just as crime decreases for a variety of factors it may increase in the future if those factors aren’t in place,” Bellamy said.

GPD generates data based on reported offenses during the year. Occasionally,crimes are reported in one calendar year, but actually occurred in another and occasionally cases are unfounded and haven't occurred. For that reason, data that was presented in previous years may be slightly different than data generated with the most current information. Bellamy urges residents to use the crime reports as trend indicators rather than specific counts of criminal offenses.

GUILFORD METRO 9-1-1 AWARDED SECOND INTERNATIONAL ACCREDITATION

Guilford Metro 9-1-1 (GM 9-1-1) was recently awarded international accreditation as an Emergency Medical Dispatch Center of Excellence from the International Academies of Emergency Dispatch (IAED), a standard-setting organization that promotes safe and effective emergency dispatch services world-wide. This is the second accreditation GM 9-1-1 has received from IAED in less than four months; the first was for achieving the Emergency Fire Dispatch Center of Excellence accreditation.

GM 9-1-1 is now the 134th emergency communications center / 9-1-1 center in the entire world to be awarded this distinction, and becomes only the fifteenth emergency communications center in the world to hold dual accreditation in Emergency Medical Dispatch (EMD) and Emergency Fire Dispatch (EFD).   

GM 9-1-1 received this accreditation due to its comprehensive implementation and compliance with the Medical Priority Dispatch System (MPDS). MPDS is a comprehensive emergency medical dispatch system designed to provide responder and caller safety, maximize utilization of resources, prioritize responses, provide efficient delivery of pre-arrival instructions, and improve overall emergency medical customer service.

To receive this designation from IAED, GM 9-1-1 had to have proper 9-1-1 communications center management oversight and on-going quality improvement programs in place, and had to make sure its entire staff was in compliance with all MPDS practices.

GM 9-1-1 will be recognized as an Accredited Center of Excellence at the IAED conference later this month in Orlando, Fla.

SPANISH HOUSING HOTLINE CALLS ON THE RISE

From the Greensboro Housing Coalition

Housing counseling services in Spanish to the Spanish-speaking community have sen quick growth over the past two-plus years at the Coalition. Beginning in 2007 with 34 clients, it  nearly doubled in 2009 to 63 clients when a new dedicated hotline was added last fall. Through April of this year, service to Spanish-speaking clients over the new hotline is on a pace to double again with 42 clients. 

"Six percent of Guilford County's population is Hispanic," said Jacob Goad, the Coalition's former Spanish-speaking housing counselor. "We have a moral obligation to increase outreach to this already marginalized client group." Fair housing laws protect residents from discrimination on the basis of national origin. 

Call the Spanish hotline for free housing counseling and information about community services at 685-3870.

CALL TO ACTION: FLOOD INSURANCE, RURAL HOUSING

REALTORS® have been urging Congress to pass a comprehensive National Flood Insurance Program reform bill all year, but lawmakers left town before reauthorizing the NFIP as well as the Section 502 rural housing mortgage guarantee program, which has run out of money for the second time this year despite concerns raised by NAR and others. Regardless of your location, your interest is served when they unite with REALTORS® everywhere to press Congress on both NFIP and rural housing loans. 

Go to NAR's Action Center to learn more about these issues and find out what you can do to make your voice heard. 

GRRA ANNOUNCES ONLINE BILL PAYMENT, $50 CREDIT FOR PAYING BY JUNE 30

There are only two weeks left to claim your $50 discount! If you haven’t paid your bill online yet, don’t delay – the $50 coupon expires after June 30!

You can now view your bill through the members area of www.grra.org.  Below, you will find detailed instructions on how to login, pay your bill, print a receipt, and receive a $50 discount when you pay on time! You can also find a PDF version linked to this email that you may download and print if you wish.

Click here to go straight to the login page

You can still pay by phone, check, or in person, but this is a quicker option for those of you who prefer to pay online. You will continue to receive a paper bill through the mail.

PLEASE NOTE: The GRRA recognizes that our members may be experiencing trying times as a result of the current economic environment.  With that, your GRRA Board of Directors elected to reduce the semi-annual MLS fee by $40 for all Primary and Secondary REALTOR members beginning with this current billing. 

Additionally, Primary and Secondary REALTOR members are eligible to receive a discount of $50 on their current billing if payment is received on time and your payment is made on-line.  This discount is not transferable, not good for cash, expires on June 30, 2010, and is forfeited upon termination of membership. See the "Discount" section below for more details.

If you have any questions about billing, contact Sharon Gray, 854-5868 or sgray@grra.org.

Logging In

From the GRRA main page, click on the Login Button.

Login

This will redirect you to our login screen.   Please place your user name and password into the boxes provided and click login.   We will provide your username below.  If you have never logged into our website, your password will be password01.

Your Username will be your e-mail address.

Login Page

Finding Your Bill

From our member welcome page, click on My Transactions, in the center of the left-hand navigation.  In this section you can review your open and closed orders.  By clicking on them, you may have a printable version of any open orders or recently closed transactions.

My Transactions

Paying Your Bill

To pay your bill, please click on any of the pay open orders icons/links.  This will take you to the order selection screen.  Please choose all the orders that you wish to pay for.  Note, that to keep your membership current, you must pay ALL open membership orders.  

Payment

Discount

For those who qualify, you may use our discount code to receive a reduction in dues.  Before you hit continue, make sure to enter MemDis-052010 into the Discount Code Area.  This will only be open for members who pay between May 15th and June 30th, so act fast.  Please make sure to hit apply after you have entered your discount code, then you will see the reduction in your membership price.

Discount

Click Next, this will take you to the payment screen, where you will enter your credit card information.  After you finalize this and hit submit, it will process your payment and you will be given a screen that you may print out for your records.

REALTOR PARTNER NEWS

June is bringing the HEAT! I just wanted to keep you all informed of new things happening in the REALTOR® Partners Program.  Below are some updates that you can send in an easy e-mail format, pass out at meetings or it can be used as talking points during a membership meeting.

Get the advantage that gets more homes sold! Look no further, now there’s a new program from REALTOR® Partner Sears Commercial that can help you close more sales. Sign up for Realty Home Advantage, all at no cost to you, and you can offer your customers special pricing on products they need for their homes! Get started now!

June Partner of the Month

Rethink 10%! AT&T wireless is offering exclusive discounts to NC REALTORS®. 10% Discount off monthly access charges, waived Activation Fee with a two year contract, and accessory discounts at any AT&T owned stores. To sign up for service, visit any AT&T Company Owned Retail location.  Make sure to provide the following to get your discounts: Foundation Account Number (FAN) – 2017074 and NCAR Verification Letter.  If you have questions, or need a letter of verification please email kmiller@ncrealtors.org

Apply for the Service Corp. BOD

Please help spread the word that we are now accepting nominations for three director positions. Directors will serve three year terms starting January 1, 2011. The nominating committee will accept nominations until June 30. Interested members should notify Kristin Miller at 336-217-1047 or kmiller@ncrealtors.org

PUBLIC SERVICE ANNOUNCEMENT FROM USDA RURAL DEVELOPMENT

USDA Rural Development has $42,500,000 available for our 502 and 504 direct loan and grant programs.

Eligible applicants who want to purchase a home or build may be able to receive 100% financing along with payment subsidy. No down payment and no points. Applicants must have adequate repayment ability and acceptable credit. 

The website below will determine if your adjusted gross household income based upon family household size will qualify you for assistance.

Look for income eligibility on the left side. 

http://eligibility.sc.egov.usda.gov/eligibility/welcomeAction.do

Funds are available for our guaranteed rural housing program. These loans are made through local financial institutions.

If you own a home with deeded ownership and reside in it as well, you may be eligible to receive up to $20,000 at a 1% interest rate. You must be at least 18 years of age and have acceptable credit. Loans are available to pay tap on fees, install new wells, septic systems, make home more assessable and/or energy efficient, install new HVAC, roof, etc…. 

Office telephone number: 336 629 4449 ext. 4.

Call if you have questions, needing additional information and would like to apply for assistance.

FOR REALTOR EYES ONLY: EXCLUSIVE RATES FOR EXCLUSIVE REALTORS

NAR is pleased to present REALTORS Core Health Insurance (RCHI) - an affordable and guaranteed-acceptance limited medical insurance program designed exclusively for REALTORS, their eligible dependents, and REALTOR staff members under 65.

Members who will benefit from Realtors Core Health Insurance include those

who:

  • Cannot afford comprehensive health insurance
  • Have comprehensive health insurance with high deductibles or out-of-pocket costs, and who need affordable coverage for everyday healthcare
  • Have tried to get health insurance and have been turned down

Highlights of the RCHI program:

  • Guaranteed-acceptance- No medical questions/exams required
  • Low cost- Plans start as low as $70.69 per month
  • Freedom to choose any provide
  • Next day coverage (30 day waiting period for sickness)

Benefits Include: doctor office visits, wellness visits, emergency room benefits, surgery benefits, and more!  For coverage information, no-obligation quotes, or to enroll, call a benefit specialist today at (877) CORE-PLAN, (877)267-3752, or visit www.RealtorsCoreHealthInsurance.com/AE

THE GRRA BLOG HAS MOVED!

Visit the GRRAblog at its new home on Blogger.com! You can now find us at http://greensbororealtors.blogspot.com. It's a great place to catch up on REALTOR happenings at the local, state and national levels.

To make sure you don't miss anything, be sure to add us to your RSS feeds. If you don't know how to use RSS (which stands for Really Simple Syndication), check out this entry for a quick tutorial.

And don't forget, the GRRA is also on Facebook and Twitter.

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TREBIC Update 

Small Town Signs Task Force – Live and sell in one of our areas small towns?  Join our task force of GRRA, HPRAR and GBA members evaluating current regulations and enforcement policies regarding off-site directional signs on the weekends in Guilford County, Summerfield, Oak Ridge, Trinity, Archdale, Thomasville, Gibsonville, Whitsett, Pleasant Garden, Sedalia and Jamestown.  These signs are a simple but effective marketing strategy that account for as much as 60 - 75% of all traffic to new home communities, and as much as 95% of weekend traffic to resale open houses.  If you’re interested in participating, contact your association or Judy Stalder at TREBIC.

Dissolution of Guilford County/GSO Joint Water and Sewer Service Agreement (WSSA) – On June 15th , GSO Council gave the County notice of their intent to dissolve the Joint Water and Sewer Service Agreement (WSSA) effective 12-31-10.  There is a perception that, among the other ramifications of dissolution, it will solve all our problems with joint plan review on projects that are getting city water and sewer but are in the County’s zoning and permitting jurisdiction.  It does not. 

The WSSA itself is not the problem; the city’s process is the problem and without major changes the problems will survive the dissolution of the WSSA.  In fact, it could get worse, because both the city and county will still be involved but there would be no agreement on how the developer should proceed with getting approvals - Catch 22.  As flawed as the current system is, it’s better than having no system at all. 

The only way GSO can avoid this problem AND not need an agreement of some sort with the county is to change its annexation policy: to be willing to annex new projects concurrent with zoning/development, AND be willing to do satellite annexations.   

To ensure that our members, customers and economic development projects in general do not suffer, we have suggested that a customer group be convened in the very near future to hammer out solutions that can be in place by the 12-31-10 dissolution date. 

GSO Land Development Ordinance Passes (LDO) – City Council passed the LDO on June 15th with a 7-2 vote.  Two controversial issues, a street connectivity ratio and a requirement to plant one tree per SF lot and ensure its survival for 1 year, were removed from the ordinance.  Both the old and the new ordinance will be available for use until July 1, 2011. There is a commitment to expedite changes to fix any glitches that are discovered, so please let us know if you find any. 

Many thanks go to the Citizens Advisory Team and staff for over 5 years of arduous work, and to Council for passing it.  TREBIC members who participated were Trip Brown, Gary Hill, Gary Rogers, Gary Wolf, Mary Skenes, Dick Franks, Keith Price and Mike Fox. 

HP Conditional Use Zoning Changes – In February HP Council began considering in earnest changing from quasi-judicial Conditional Use District Zoning to legislative Conditional Zoning, a more user-friendly process that allows applicants and neighbors to talk to Council members about the project outside of the public hearing. TREBIC supports the change. A TREBIC task force has been reviewing a draft ordinance since April, and many of our concerns have been resolved.  We continue to work with staff and Council on 2 main issues.  A proposed requirement for a Master Plan drawing: not all conditions can be drawn or need drawings, so we feel this should be an option rather than a requirement.  And ordinance language that could be interpreted to allow the city to require funding of off-site street improvements: such funding should be limited to street improvements on-site or at-site (such as turn lanes), and to the extent they can be directly tied to the demands of the development itself.

Project Economic Impact Study (EIS) Letter Program – Remember that TREBIC has a very affordable program for getting EIS letters for individual projects from UNCG Professor Emeritus and economist Dr. Don Jud.  Letters can be generated for as little as $300 for TREBIC members ($1100 for non-members).  Custom studies can cost several thousands of dollars.  Using and EIS in rezoning hearings helps you win project approval AND raise awareness that land development is economic development.  Call us for more details.

Member News

If you have news you'd like to share with your fellow REALTORS, send it to Glen Baity, gbaity@grra.org or 854-5868.


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Upcoming Events

July 5 - GRRA Closed for Independence Day Holiday

July 29 - New REALTOR Orientation -
Required for all new REALTORS -
Contact Megan Tasman for more information, 854-5868 or mmoore@grra.org.

August 3 - GRRA Membership Luncheon - 11:30 a.m. -
Come hear the candidates in the upcoming GRRA Elections speak - RSVP to Sharon Gray,
854-5868 or sgray@grra.org.

August 10 - RCSC Blood Drive - 8:30 to 12:30 -
Contact Megan Tasman for more information, 854-5868 or mmoore@grra.org.

August 12 - Triad MLS Brown Bag Lunch - 11:30 a.m. - MLS EVP Richard Renton joins us to talk about new features and field your MLS-related questions. RSVP online here.

August 10 - REALTOR Night at the Greensboro Grasshoppers - Contact Charles Hinerman, 854-5868 or chinerman@grra.org for more details.

August 17 - Transportation Improvement Program Brown Bag - 11:30 a.m. - GDOT's Craig McKinney returns to the GRRA to discuss the contents of the new draft TIP - RSVP to Sharon Gray, 854-5868 or sgray@grra.org.

August 19-20 - Get a Kid Ready for School Sorting and Distribution

August 24 - GRRA-RCA Joint Membership Luncheon - RSVP to Barbara Gilliland, 854-5868 or bpgilliland@grra.org

August 26 - Healthcare Reform Brown Bag - 11:30 a.m. - Stan Park of Craft Insurance joins us to talk about the first changes from the healthcare reform bill, and what you can expect down the road. RSVP online here.

September 8 - GRRA Annual Meeting 


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Wellness Update

MOSES CONE EVENTS

For a complete calendar of event and descriptions go to www.mosescone.com. To register for these classes, call 832-8000. You may call 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Registration is required and classes are free, unless otherwise noted.

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Technology News

New iPhone arrives: Rivals, beware
Apple’s new iPhone, its fourth in four years, reaches stores on Thursday. Ordinarily, this is where you’d expect to find a review of it. But honestly — what’s the point?

Motorola, Verizon, Google unite to introduce Droid X
Forget Toy Story 3. The hottest summer releases can fit in a pocket.

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Residential News

Dip in home sales may signal plunge
The housing market may be on the verge of taking another plunge that could weaken the broader economic recovery.

Dispute simmers on water contract
In the latest game of city-county political football, City Council members have called a timeout.

Fed likely to keep record-low rates
Federal Reserve policymakers open a two-day meeting today amid signs of caution for the recovery: Europe's debt crisis, an edgy Wall Street, cautious consumers, a fragile housing market and high unemployment.

Tying up dogs may become illegal in Guilford
The draft language defines tethering as “fastening, tying out or otherwise securing a dog outdoors on a rope, chain, leash, lead, line, cord, cable, wire, strap, or other similar physical device for the purpose of restraining the dog.”

UNCG needs funds to open new building
UNCG’s new School of Education building is on track to be completed by January and should be ready for use by fall 2011.

Landfill changes may affect gas deal
The International Textile Group could soon ask the city to give it more free methane gas — a byproduct of the White Street Landfill, of all places.

GTCC buys property to expand campus
GTCC is expanding its campus with the purchase of a foreclosed town house property.

Greensboro Sports Commission lands golf, rugby tournaments
Kim Strable, president of the Greensboro Sports Commission, said teams from across the country will come to the Triad for the tournament.

U.S. vehicles surpass imports in quality
Detroit Three brands, as a group, have surpassed import brands on the initial quality of their new cars and trucks for the first time since J.D. Power and Associates started tracking their performance a quarter century ago.

Budget cuts lead to fewer summer school classes
Summer school can mean the difference between moving on to the next grade with your buddies or being bigger than everyone else in class if you get held back. But budget cuts are giving fewer students a choice.

Davis enters District 28 race
Guilford County Commissioner Bruce Davis announced Thursday that he has received enough petition signatures to get on the November ballot for N.C. Senate District 28.

Home building fails to lift recovery
Home builders are sending a message: They won't be able to contribute much to the economic recovery now that government home-buying incentives have vanished.

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Commercial News

Room to grow: Park's future coming into focus
It’s been more than 10 years since plans for the park, which sprawls on 230 acres along the eastern edge of downtown, were unveiled with soaring expectations. 

Triad to experience dip in funds for road projects
As federal stimulus dollars for highway projects continue to dry up, state Department of Transportation officials plan to decrease road spending in the Triad by 7 percent in fiscal year 2011.

Jobless projects latest wrinkle to incentives requests
Two Triad companies have won promises of city and county incentives for sizable investments, but unlike most projects that seek public funds, neither is promising to add new jobs right away.

Developer revives project south of downtown GSO
A Durham company is reviving its plans for a mixed-use development on the southern edge of downtown Greensboro.

Triad bank gets big investment
A growing High Point-based bank said today that it has received a $35 million investment led by a New York private-equity firm where former Wachovia Corp. chief executive Ken Thompson is a senior adviser.

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